People have been sitting on top of the lighthouse and have halted construction to move the lighthouse 22-feet.
This has resulted in various meetings the past four days between the City of Trinidad, Tribal Councils from both the Trinidad Rancheria and the Yurok Tribe, along with the Tsurai Ancestral Society and the Civic Club.
From these meetings a document was drafted and signed by all stakeholders on the new location of the lighthouse.
“It will be temporarily located at the [Trinidad Rancheria] harbor property at the bottom of the hill until the Civic Club finds a new home for it,” said Toby Vanlandingham.
Vanlandingham is the Weitchpec District representative for the Yurok Tribal Council.
The plot of land where the lighthouse sits, is owned by Trinidad’s Civic Club but is also the ancestral grounds of the Native American Tsurai Yurok Village.
During an open session at Trinidad’s Town Hall last week with the City of Trinidad and local Native American Tribes, Chair of the Trinidad Rancheria offered to house the lighthouse.
Yesterday evening, a second vigil was held in honor of the Tsurai village at the memorial lighthouse. This vigil, had a tone of gratitude and humble triumph for the Tsurai Village and the Yurok Tribe. Native Americans shared songs of healing and words of encouragement to the descendants of the village.
There were tears but there was also was plenty of love, hot food, coffee and tea to go around.
“This has been one of the most empowering experiences we have ever been in, because all of you came. You heard that call for help and you came. You dropped what you did, you got care for your children, you spent your own money, you cooked food. You showed us that we are not alone in this fight. For our allies that came and helped us, you can never repay that,” said Sarah Lindgren-Akana.
Through tears, one of Axel Lindgren III granddaughter’s read a quote by John Trudell.
“No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the earth. We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense.”
She said that when people are pushed to the edge, it is easy to respond in anger but that is not the way to make it as a people.
The Lindgren’s are a Native American family and direct descendants of the Tsurai Village. They are an integral part of the Tsurai Ancestral Society and have found themselves engaged in various battles with the City of Trinidad spanning decades–in their attempts at preserving their ancestral lands.
“Going through this experience over the years representing the Tsurai Village in front of the City of Trinidad has been one of the hardest things that I have ever done but I know my grandfather did it before me and his father before him,” said Lindgren-Akana.
Next week, the crane which was supposed to move the lighthouse 22-feet to the new slab of concrete, will move the lighthouse down the road to the harbor property.
“As we are standing here listening to the people who have been engaged in this fight for a long time without support, next Saturday we will all be able to stand here and celebrate because that pad will be empty from something that has scarred this land for so long,” Vanlandingham relayed to those gathered at the vigil yesterday.
He said that it was not the bargaining powers of the Yurok Tribe or their lawyers but the protectors and supporters who stood with the Tsurai Village.
“If we have to respect their graves, they have to respect ours. If we have to respect their civil war battle fields, then they should respect our villages.”